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Is there a device that measures the dimensions of an object from any height or distance away from the measuring tool? It would have to automatically determine and factor in the location of the measuring tool in relation to the object being measured.

Basically, set it up on a tripod, turn it on, point it at the object, dial in the tick marks on the edges of the object, it gives you the dimensions.
 

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There are total stations now that don't need a prism. There is a small loss of accuracy because of it. With a prism, a total station, and a calculator you can pretty much measure anything very accurately.. well I should say large objects - redundant on smaller objects. There are also robotic total stations where you have the prism in hand and a data collector that can output simplistic diagrams for measuring - they range in the 20-30000 range. Basic total station with prisms, poles, and a data collector will run around 5-6000.
 
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Thank you for your responses.

This device could be used to measure objects that would otherwise require a lift or long ladder to reach or would be difficult for 1 person to measure by hand.

A simple example would be that from ground level, this device could give you the size of a high sign board, the letters in the sign, pole height, etc.
 

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A total station might be able to get the size of the sign but highly unlikely that it'll do much smaller than that. Don't know of much else that will either.. other than Grumpys' suggestion :)
 

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Is there a device that measures the dimensions of an object from any height or distance away from the measuring tool? It would have to automatically determine and factor in the location of the measuring tool in relation to the object being measured.

Basically, set it up on a tripod, turn it on, point it at the object, dial in the tick marks on the edges of the object, it gives you the dimensions.
A Reflectorless Total Station is the most accurate method/tool to use, providing you know how to use it, but you may also be able to do the job using a Distop A5 laser measure, if you set it up correctly. The pythagoras feature of this laser measure may also help you out here to determine height dimensions if measured away from the object and not perpendicular.
 
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